26 January 2011


Remember my previous entry about a "missed rendezvous"? I said that the reason why I missed that rendezvous was that I had a dance practice with my officemates for a company event. Well, this entry is about that company event.

If you wanna fight me, you're not the brightest... la dee la dee la...
It happened on a Wednesday at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City. What transpired was our company's kick-off party for 2011. Every year we hold such events for our agents and branch managers as a sign of gratitude for helping us drive sales. They were given rewards and recognitions for all their efforts, especially the top performers. I was actually a bit shocked with how generous their remunerations were. I heard that agents with 'better' sales get gadgetry and other must-haves. But the ones with the 'best' sales get (read) all expense paid trips abroad. For 2011, the best agents will have the opportunity to travel to Japan, Jerusalem, Malaysia, Australia, etc. For inquiries on how to become an agent please contact our branch operations admin or dial 884-5595. *grin*

This year the theme was CONQUERING NEW HEIGHTS FOR 2011, and everyone turned up in their Indiana Jones inspired outfit. Most were just clad with a white top and a khaki bottom as suggested by the organizers. But one agent became the event's scenestealer when he turned up dressed just the same, but, has a humungous bunny for a head.

Speaking of scenestealers, I noticed quite a handful that day. Luckily, I was able to take a picture of them:

A bevy of Harajuko girls and cosplayers were the most crowded corner in the tent's lobby.

Harajuko girls

modern Jap culture
I interviewed them when I had the chance, and I was right, the two Harajuko girls were wearing a "Lolita" outfit. Lolita, if I'm not mistaken, is an image of a little girl (or a doll?). Anyway, the cosplayers' characters were inspired from video games that I am not familiar of.

Another scenestealer were the guest performers. The program was opened by foxy belly dancers. Also, Duncan Ramos turned up and had a couple of sessions onstage.

A sexy dance number

Duncan Ramos

The biggest scenestealer in the event was of course, us. *grin* Me, our Marketing SVP, and some other officemates prepared two dance numbers for the event. One was OMG by Usher, and the other was Boom Boom Pow as sung by Duncan live!

Baby let me love you down... there're so many ways to love ya..
My most favorite scenestealer was of course the scrumptious meal. Very thick slab of beef and seafood. I swallowed all my pride and asked for another plate. I even ate what my officemates weren't able to finish. Yay to that! Here is a picture of the meal.

 But, with all those scenestealers, there was one who stood out for me and made me really proud to be a part of the company. It wasn't Mike Enriquez's appearance in the event. It was what he announced. When his name was called, everyone cheered. He went onstage and walked to the mic. He coughed his famous cough and then blurted, "Excuse me po! Pasok!!" Then the backdrop screen (or whatever you call it) rolled a list.. 10. BPI Life.. 9. *some insurance company*... 8. *another life insurance company*... Apologies, I was too caught up with the moment that I failed to remember the exact entries... 6. *company name*..... 5. blah blah.... Everyone started to cheer at this point. Some even started to stand to see a better view of the screen. Me? Goosebumps all over. 3. Sun Life of Canada (?)..... 2. Philam Life....  Everyone stood up! Me? I was literally jumping on my feet! Blood is rushing throughout my entire body.

1. Pru Life UK.

YAY!!! What a good time to join the company. We just became number one this year!

Everyone singing the Pru Life UK song... "We are No. 1"

By the way, before I end this post, someone was really amazed by my dance moves that he didn't pass up the chance to have a photo with me. Who can blame him, it could be his only chance to see me in person. *sniggers*

Me and some guy named Duncan Ramos (?) or something like that

21 January 2011


Since I am generally feeling insomniac right now, I'll work on publishing my drafts from last week...


Last Tuesday, I missed a meeting with the Urban Elite because I had a dance practice with my officemates for our company's 2011 kick-off party. By the way, for those who don't know me personally, I dance. Brief background. I've been dancing since I was a kid. In high school I joined a dance club where I got to learn different genres of dances. In college, I joined the hiphop varsity of my alma mater UP Los Banos, i.e. UPLB Street Jazz Dance Company (aka Street Jazz or "clan"). I also had some stints in standard dancesport before I graduated. And after that, I was one of those who pioneered Urban Elite, the alumni leg of Street Jazz. Hmm... I'm thinking of writing a whole different entry in my dancing realm.

So as I said,  I missed my meeting with Urban Elite. And next thing I know, I was appointed as the Membership Committee head. To be honest, I didn't know how to react. It was flattering that they trust me to handle that committe. But also, it was challenging as the position requires hardwork, with emphasis on "hard". It also requires having deeper understanding of all inter-relationships and individual concerns of the members. *sigh* As Shikamaru would have put it, "This is troublesome."

Urban Elite, before the performance at World AIDS Day celebration
Sabrina getting drunk
I missed Urban Elite. Even though I have known these guys since I was a freshman in college, I still miss them. Above is a picture taken right before our performance at the World AIDS Day celebration in Tomas Morato last December. It was a memorable night because we bonded, we went clubbing and partied like there was no tomorrow.

After sweating all our moves in the club, we went straight to he nearest noodle shop to regain sobriety. Or consciousness at least. Little did I know, I was only a few seconds away from having the best noodles I've ever tasted in my entire life. 
San Seh's excellent noodles
Before that night, I never knew that these kind of noodles existed. And I was so glad that we happened upon San Seh's Pulled Noodles. I'll definitely go back to that shop and have another bowl of tasty pulled noodles. Although my roomate, who works in the food industry, told me that these were more commonly called as traditional Chinese noodles.


Also this week, Cebu Pacific launched a new marketing strategy via Facebook. My co-members in Urban Elite were frantic that day as one of us was informed about the airline's "game" just few hours before it was launched. We were all excited to participate as winning the game would mean realising our goal to have a group vacation in Coron, Palawan.

The scheme is like this, one of us would need to register as a host of a 150-seater plane. Once he obtains a plane, he would need to fill the "seats" by inviting his friends to join his flight. The first plane to fill up wins. The prize? All of those who registered in the winning plane will have a real trip to the pre-determined destination, on a pre-set date.

By the way, before I forget, I would like to share how crappy my Cebu Pacific flight was last Christmas. I was on my way to Davao, and I was carrying with me three boxes. First one contains my old CPU, second one is the monitor, and third one contains perfume bottles, alcoholic beverage, and other wrapped gifts that I bought as pasalubong for my relatives and neighbours.

I specifically instructed the lady at the check-in counter to take special care of my baggage, and to label it as fragile. I told her of the contents of each box. I even readily paid around three thousand bucks for the excess baggage. She sweetly smiled and assured me that everything will be fine.

Not everything went fine though. To cut the story short, I was agape when I saw my box on the conveyor belt in Davao airport. It was upturned, leaking with perfume, and like the other two boxes, it had no label that says "Fragile". I filed a complaint right away and the officer (after having a row with me first) assured me a call from their head office within the week to sort things out. Sad to say, I never heard from them. Not even after i followed up on them thru phone AND email.

my box of perfumes with leaks at the top

the airline's new boarding pass will make any grocery receipt look like a piece of art

I am still yet to hear about their explanation. Crap!

11 January 2011


I chanced upon a very funny blog entry about being late. I couldn't stop laughing as I can hear my own voice in the author's narration. Here's an excerpt (from BM's Takbo, Talon, Tili, Hingal):

Lagi akong late. As in! Ewan ko ba kung kelan nagsimula yung habit ko na yun. Karamihan sa mga lakad namin ng barkada, late ako.

Nasa LRT na.
Malapit na.
Anjan na.
Me emergency lang.
I'm on my way.
Sorry di ako nagising.
Baha. Ang lakas ng ulan.
Nasiraan ang jeep/fx/van/bus/lrt.
Naligaw ako.

Super bagal ko lang talaga kumilos. Tamad na tamad akong bumangon. Pag gabi feel na feel ko magpuyat. Pag umaga naman ayoko halos kumilos. Yung mata ko parang may padlock kaloka! Heavy duty pa kamo. Kaya dapat ang alarm clock ko, nananapak.

Nung bata ako, pag late kami ng nanay ko sa klase, pagpasok ko pa lang sa klase bubungad na si Mrs. Manlapig ng "Hijo wag mo ng paalisin yung hatid mo, kasi 5 minutes na lang di na sha tagahatid, tagasundo na sha. Pumasok ka pa." At shempre, pasok din sa kin yung classic line na "Ang aga mo... para bukas." Pag naririnig ko yun nung bata ako eh nagtataka talaga ko. Maaga pa daw ako?

Just like the author, I am also a person who always gets late in most of my appointments. I also use the same alibis as his. I don't know when this habit started as well. But thinking about it sure reminded me of my pledged New year's resolution. Yes, before I went home for Christmas, I promised my boss that I will work on my tardiness.

Anyhoo, aside from BEING ON TIME ALL THE TIME, there are other things that I would like to pledge to accomplish this year. I even made a list of it.

Ahem, folks, let me present to you my TO-DO LIST FOR 2011.

-Be promoted.
-Purchase mama and papa a travel package.
-Do an art work.(charcoal, pastel, or watercolor)
-Learn Samba, Popping/Locking, or any other style of dance.
-Visit Boracay.
-Purchase an android phone.
-Go to at least two places in the country that I've never been to.
-Go outside the Philippines.
-Compete or do a major dance performance.
-Choreograph one dance.
-Eliminate tardiness in the office.
-Have a creative photoshoot.
-Do at least three volunteer works.
-Pay for Ma's and Pa's pension plan.
-Climb a mountain.
-Do an extreme sport.
-Learn a new skill (baking, movie editing, ...?)
-Get my DOST clearance.
-Learn how to drive.
-Secure a passport.
-Take an Actuarial exam.

Okay. So I know this is not the end of the roster. I might add other items as I go along. Also, from time to time, maybe twice a quarter or perhaps once a month, I will post updates of this list. Hopefully I'll be able to cross out a few in the first quarter.

By the way, I noticed that some of the items in the list require having huge moolah. So I guess that brings an implicit entry in the list that, to be honest, has been in my New Year's resolution year-on-year, id est...

Learn how to manage my money properly.

And with this, I say, 2011, here I come!!

10 January 2011


As I was busy reading my Monday morning dose of news, I overheard some of my officemates making sounds of excitement. I craned my neck over my cubicle to check, and I saw that some were crowding on someone's computer. That's when I realized that the moment must have come.

I was in the middle of some article on Pnoy and drug traficking when the long-awaited message popped in my inbox. It was the HR who cascaded the big announcement, as I expected. I was halfway through the announcement when I joined the rest of the company, minus ten, in releasing a sigh and then a shrug. As I expected.

Oh well, someone's gotta win.

my assignment (November 2010)

It was late November last year (or early December?) when each employee receieved a plant. As part of the core values of our company, we are supposed to manifest CARE. Thus we were divided into groups of ten and we were to take care of our assigned plants for more than a month. It was said in the mechanics that the best looking plant in the team will be submitted and judged via pre-set parameters (height, general appearance, etc.). The team who will win will receive tokens plus a paid dinner with the CEO.

Everyone was in competitive mode right away and put their respective plants in sun-kissed areas in the office. Some even took their plants home to be taken better care of.

Luckily I was born with a green thumb. Or at least that's what I thought. If I may mention, I had my own share of pant-growing activities in the past. In primary school, we grew mongo plants in our school backyard as part of our Home Economics project. Also when I was a kid, I used to water all the plants in our garden
(after i scrub the floor) so i can get an extra peso in my daily allowance. <-- sheeesh, i couldn't believe the roster ended there.

Anyhow, I took care of my plant very positive that we will win. I even brought it in my apartment here in Makati so that it will get better air and sunlight while I go away for the vacation. And so off to Davao I went for a week. To be honest, I was a bit worried that I might lose a couple of leaves. So I flooded the pot with as much water as I can before heading to the airport.

When I came back... GAK!

my assignment (January 2011)

So much for believing in a green thumb. I couldn't believe there were only a couple of leaves left. I was too ashamed that I even promised not to bring it back to the office. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that at least one of my team mates have the green thumb.


04 January 2011


I don’t know about you guys but we sure have our family practices every New Year’s Eve. My mom told me when I was young that those things might be just superstitions to some, but it wouldn’t hurt if we try to bring in good luck. Especially as we welcome a new year.

Let me enumerate them to you as you might want to employ some :

1.       Wearing polka dots. Every year-end my mother dons a clothing spangled with dots. May it be a dress, a blouse, or a duster like the one below, Mama always wears one; and I notice it’s always red and white. It is believed that these dots symbolize wealth as they resemble coins.

Apologies for the blurry images. It was hard to keep Mama still.

 2.    Jingling coins. Mama said jiggling two dozens of a kind of coin would bring abundance in the coming year. I used to jiggle one-peso coins. Now I jiggle ten-peso coins. Maybe mom thought that since I’m a grown up now, I should use coins of higher worth.

3.       Being loud. Since using fireworks is not too big in Davao in the last decade, we don’t have them at home. Although, I heard that the firecrackers ban was lifted in our city this year. The last time I saw Papa lit a Judas’ belt was when I was twelve-ish. I kinda missed it, to be honest, however it is always wiser to use safer methods of making noise. You can blow horns (“torotot”) or rev up your cars just like what we did. I believe being loud is a way to ward off evil spirits.

4.       Having round fruits on the table. I remember Mama arguing with a friend on whether there should be twelve or thirteen, but I don’t remember which one they followed in the end. I also forgot to ask Mama about this last week. I believe the round shape of the fruits symbolizes eternity and longevity.

5.       Drinking water with roses. Mama submerges exactly three rose petals in a glass of water. Then at the stroke of midnight, each member of the household will have a drink from it. Mama said it keeps us all together and intact as a family, no matter what happens. This practice is pretty rare. Aside from our family the only other people I know who practice this is... no one.

     Here are other pictures I took that night.

Tagum City Christmas tree. This was once the tallest in the country. I don't know if it still is.
I saw quite cheap but tasty chicken downtown and bought them right away

my poisons

Mama, Nanay, ang Uncle Mek-mek

Shaolan, Bryan, and Christine

Alejandro with his girlfriend

Co cousins

My entire family

My parents


Wakeboarding on a man-made water arena completed my fun-filled Christmas vacation this year. It was the cherry-on-top of all my year-end activities, beating going to the beach with the rest of our neighbourhood or fishing for the first time. It happened in DECA WAKEBOARD PARK, a still being developed tourist spot in Mintal, Davao City. Holding onto the cable handles while keeping the correct composure was a tiresome yet exhilarating experience for me. And for the record, wakeboarding was the most fun extreme activity I've ever done.

Only it didn't happen.

Much to my disappointment, my high school batchmates scheduled our wakeboarding activity on the New Year's Eve. The exact same day when everybody rushes last minute shopping, preparing the Media Noche, entertaining relatives and other guests, or taking a rest in preparation for the loooong night. It was in our high school mini-reunion, a couple of days earlier, that we discussed about wakeboarding. And since I am too disappointed at this point, especially now that I have seen their pictures, I will not talk about wakeboarding any further. I will however talk about my mini-tour to Davao City on the 28th to meet my high school batchmates for a mini-reunion.

My first stop in the city was at Gaisano Mall. It was my favorite mall in Davao City. In high school, it was my place to be. Maybe because of its architecture, type of shops, and the vast strip of arcade games. The last one is a personal particular as I am quite choosy with arcade games. I only play Darkstalkers, King of Fighters, Puzzle Bobble, or that generic jet game with the aerial view. If any of these is present in an arcade, then you can expect me to hangout in that place very often. Sad to say, when I checked, the arcade place in Gaisano mall was moved to a smaller area and my favorite games were gone.

To compensate for my grieving, I decided to devour on something really really good. So I insisted my friend Jed to dine with me at Dimsum Diner. He gladly agreed even though he had dined at the same place just the previous night. Yes people, the dumplings were that good.

Yummy crab, beef, and shark's fin dumplings
DIMSUM DINER serves the best dumplings that ever grazed my palate, and I know that most of those who have dined here would agree. Too bad they don't have a franchise here in Manila. Do they? Please let me know if they do!

Before I went to our batch rendezvous, Jed and I went to DAVAO MEDICAL CENTER (now renamed to Southern Philippines Medical Center) to visit my bestfriend Sybil. She was not available for the reunion as she was on duty in the ER that night. Luckily, three other batchmates who were equally disappointed as Sybil, was also on duty. So I had a pre-reunion with them right there in the ER. I get to chat a little with Carl Uy and Marian, but not with Reginald as he was busy stitching a patient.

Sybil and me

Marian (L) and Sybil (R)
I was so proud seeing them in their scrubs. I felt a little disappointed as well, or maybe envious, as I could have been there with them doing some stitches. You see, in most of my high school years I was very sure I'll take up Biology in college. Yet I had a change of mind weeks before I filled out my application form for UP. (sigh). Oh well, I'm very happy with my current industry anyways so I'll just drop that thought.

Our next stop was at C-TRES, an all-you-can-eat buffet at Obrero Street. My batchmates have already started their meals when we arrived. Although I've never heard of this resto before, I sure will promote it as they serve scrumptious dishes. My favorite was the Fish Fillet, it was awesome.

I call this the dish pit. This is where people line up to get food.
Funky crabs. I forgot to ask if these were unlimited as well, as these weren't included in the pit.

(L-R) JC, Lesele, Martin, Aldbrian, Nina, Nikko, Ruel, Ephraim, Ian, Adrian, Carlo, Luningning
After dinner, these guys wanted to hit the karaoke so we went to BLUE POST. Too bad, the karaoke wasn't available. So we moved to CASA DE AMIGOS, a pub-ish sort of place right at the heart of the city. I like the way the place was laidback. There was a live band, there were billiard tables, and there were private karaoke rooms. And just when I thought things couldn’t get better, boy check out the menu. No, look at the right side. Yeah, baby! The cocktail drinks are waaaay cheaper. Woohoo! Had I been working in Davao, I would surely frequent at this place.

Before we called the night off, we went someplace else. Ooops. I meant, we went to SOME PLACE ELSE, a shisha bar and restaurant at Paseo de Habana. I had another round of not-so-pricey cocktails, and this place here has a lengthy cocktail menu my ears couldn’t stop flapping. And although I do not smoke, I didn’t pass up the chance to puff a shisha. If you are wondering what a shisha is, it is a pipe Egyptian in origin that allows the user to puff flavoured nicotine-free smoke. Ergo, shisha = smoking – health risk. Hmm... wait. Afaik, it’s nicotine-free. I’ll double-check on that.

We at the shisha bar. Shisha (center)
Whew! It was a long night. And although I wasn’t able to try wakeboarding, I care less. I had fun. And I can say that my Christmas vacation was complete.


EDIT (10/13/11): For those who are curious about the REAL wakeboarding experience in Davao, READ HERE

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